When I was a kid, the days preceding Passover were usually filled with trepidation. Sure, we were excited as Passover activities were in full swing, and we could almost taste the festival of freedom, a.k.a. spring break. But, along with these frenetic preparations, terror lurked deep in the hearts of my brothers and me, especially when it came to the last few dinners prior to Passover. Of course, my mother tried to disguise the fact that she was using us as human guinea pigs as she created dishes with every leftover in the fridge combined into a casserole or soup.
She lamely tried to pass it off as something fancy, like adding the word "surprise" to the dish. So, it would be something like stale bread pudding, fish stick and mushroom "surprise." MMMMMMM. Yummy. Nothing like mom's stale bread pudding, fish stick and mushroom surprise to actually get you to wish for a weeks worth of cardboard matza and butter. One time she made a soup...I swear I think there was old lasagna in it and peas. Soup surprise for all. Yeahhhhh! It's like adding the word "La" onto everything to make it sound French and fancy. La mayonnaise, La hot dog, La peanut butter and jelly. See how fancy it sounds?
It was really a shame we didn't have a dog to help us out, but then again, I don't think mom's homemade "surprise" meals would have gone over too well with the canine constituency either.
So, here I am, a few days before Passover and I am wondering how to get rid of the remnants of food in my fridge without poisoning my children. I want to be creative without marketing schemes such as "surprise." Sure, I used Mexican Fiesta to get them to eat beans...but at least the meal was tasty and relatively fresh. I wasn't deceiving them in any way, just trying to create ambience.
So, here are the few items I have left and need to get rid of. Ice cream, french fries, some old vegetables (not rotten yet) flour, chocolate chips, 3 tbsp of wheat germ, bagels (left over from guests last weekend). A bowl of pasta (this should last for 2 meals at least) some leftover lasagna (I 'll eat that).
Okay, not much to go on, I know. Last night, we had pancakes with the rest of the whole wheat pastry flour, and remaining chocolate chips. I also had a lot of sweet potatoes, so I cooked them with some apples and served it on the side. Hands down, one of their favorite meals. I also added the last of the wheat germ, and used up the soy milk. See recipe below. They are actually healthy ( you can eliminate the chips) and there were definitely no surprises.
I sauteed some of the veggies in coconut oil for the hubby along with some leftover chopped meat thrown in. He was happy.
I ate the veggies as well, and threw in a soy patty. I was relatively happy.
So, you see, no need for the word "surprise"...yet. Tonight, it just may be pasta, broccoli, and the leftover fries...not horrible. Really, the true test will come around Thursday or so when I am completely out of everything! I still have corn, Quinoa, applesauce and popcorn in my pantry..hmmm, now there's a dinner of champions. I may have to use the word "surprise" after all. Oh, I just noticed I also have some oatmeal I have to get rid of!! OMG! I AM TURNING INTO MY MOTHER!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
If any of you are out there reading this....join in and tell me what your weirdest Passover meal was.
Below is my pancake recipe...allergy free of course, and quite tasty might I add!!!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 TBSP. Sucanat (optional) Sucanat stands for sugar cane natural-it's sugar that isn't refined or processed.
2 tbsp. wheat germ (kids won't even know it's there)
1 cup soymilk (or milk)
2 tbsp. oil
1 ripe banana mashed well
choco chips (optional, can substitute blueberries)
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and mix
Combine liquid ingredients into separate bowl and combine
Pour liquid into dry ingredients and combine (don't mix too much, if it gets too thick add a little milk)
Make sure griddle is hot and ready to go, if it's nonstick you need no butter or oil)
Using a little less than a 1/4 cup per scoop, ladle 4 dollar sized pancakes onto griddle
When they start to bubble or edges look puffy, flip them over.
Makes about 20-24 dollar sized
Serve with mashed sweet potatoes, or sweet potatoes baked with apple chunks, or even cooked carrots.